ARANDA RICKERT adriana Marina
congresos y reuniones científicas
Are subordinate ants the best seed dispersers? Linking dominance hierarchy to seed dispersal ability in myrmecochory interactions
ARANDA RICKERT ADRIANA
Congreso; International Botanical Congress, IBC 2011: XVIII International Botanical Congress; 2011
International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS)
True myrmecochory involves the dispersal by ants of elaiosome-bearing seeds. Ant communities are known to be highly hierarchical, and competitively dominant ant species often occupy the most attractive food resources. In contrast, subordinate ants quickly deliver resources to their nests rather than consuming it on site, thereby avoiding encounters with more dominant species. As a result, seed dispersal will be favoured when a subordinate ant first discover a myrmecochorous seed. As a result of a series of studies that were carried out in semiarid Northwest Argentina, it was found that the ant species Pogonomyrmex cunicularius Mayr. was the most subordinate species and also the main seed disperser of a myrmecochorous native shrub. As a conclusion, the behaviour of subordinate species appears to be integral to successful myrmecochory.